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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi friends

I've been reading this forum for a few months now, but I've just joined and looking for some help! I recently decided to go all-in and attempt to clean my intake ports/valves. My method was to soak each port (while closed) with CRC GDI valve cleaner overnight and then take a wire brush to them.

Finding a good wire brush was more difficult than I expected. They broke on me, threw bristles, or were too big. I finally got one that seemed to work just right, until …

(Here's a link to the brush: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0040C60MG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I had done 3.5 ports with my crappy brushes and then when I got to port 5, bad things ensued. The bristles started breaking like crazy. I tell myself no problem and I use a vacuum and magnet to fish them out. I look in with my borescope and I can't see a single bristles. Success! But then I decide to do a once over with my (slightly magnetized) dental pick. And low and behold, more bristles. Like, a lot more that I just can't see. After a few hours of vacuuming, using a magnet and my dental pick, I think I've gotten all of them. The problem is that I CAN'T KNOW FOR SURE.

Furthermore, I lost some bristles on the first few ports. What if I missed some of those too? I've since advanced the engine and they could already be in the cylinder. My guess is that it's unlikely. I've looked in the cylinder with my borescope, and I couldn't see anything. But let's be honest, you can't see crap with those cameras. But again, I'll never know for sure that there isn't at least one bristle (and maybe more) that made it into a cylinder.

As a reference the bristle diameter is about .006".

So, am I totally effed? Is it worth the risk? Can a wire that small score the cylinder? Damage my turbo?

As far as I see it, I have two options:

1. Do my darnedest and accept the risk - i.e. hope that the bristles pass cleanly out the exhaust?
2. Have it towed to a shop and get a "valve job." That way, they'd take off the head and could find any contaminants. This to me is a last resort since it's terribly expensive and I'm thinking of selling the truck and getting a new one anyway.

Thoughts? Advice? Commiseration? Anything helps!
 

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I'm not surprised anybody hasn't answered your question as you haven't put down any info on the vehicle you're talking about. Nobody is going to assume anything. So, what you got? Tonka truck, D9 Cat, Sherman tank? What? What engine does it have? What year is it? You have the intake removed? What evidence do you have that your valves are carboned up? More info makes the issue a bit clearer, don't you know. ;)

Now, as far as what you said about the bristles, if it were me, I'd fire it up to blow out any residual. That is...if it were me. What you do is entirely up to you.
 

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You already know the answer to your question. Unless you pull the heads you’ll never know what’s in the cylinder. You can borescope until it’s bedtime but you can’t see everything with the head on. For that matter, if a wire bristle got down between the piston and cylinder you still may not see it.
 

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And this is why I only buy new trucks now.

Any chance to get a little scope-type camera in there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You already know the answer to your question. Unless you pull the heads you’ll never know what’s in the cylinder. You can borescope until it’s bedtime but you can’t see everything with the head on. For that matter, if a wire bristle got down between the piston and cylinder you still may not see it.
Thanks GearHead - I guess to drill down on my question. What kind of risk am I assuming by not removing the head? That is to say, are the cylinder bores and rings hard enough that bristles this small can't do much?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Yeah - I've used my borescope in both the cylinder and the intake port. It's too hard to see anything in the cylinder and the ports look fine. But I've pulled out bristles that I couldn't see... so looks can be deceiving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Any particular reason you decided to do this?

There definitely was coking on the intake valves. It wasn't too severe. But I already had the intake manifold off, so I just went for it. Regretting that decision :)

Some of the issues I've seen w/ my Ecoboost (2013 SuperCrew w/ 85k miles) is that my gas mileage has always sat around 14 mpg. I've had turbo issues that may be related (i.e. fluid in the intercooler) and if I was going to install a catch can, I wanted to make sure that I wasn't just putting lipstick on a pig.
 

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Fluid in the intercooler is normal and usually not an indication of a bad turbo.
 

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Thanks GearHead - I guess to drill down on my question. What kind of risk am I assuming by not removing the head? That is to say, are the cylinder bores and rings hard enough that bristles this small can't do much?
Strictly speculation on my part as I’ve never seen anything that could back up what I’m saying. Your cylinders, pistons and rings would probably survive a brass bristle but a steel bristle would likely leave it’s mark. I’m a believer in whatever bad can happen will find a way to happen. I can envision a bristle getting stuck down in the ring gap and then being drug up an down in the cylinder. Turbos could probably get messed up by any of the above. Again, strictly speculation on my part.
 
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